Ravtsov and Krepak were left without Arsenal
The Prosecutor General’s Office successfully obtained the recognition as void of transactions with the property of the Perm Arsenal plant, a former large defense enterprise declared bankrupt in 2018. Later, Arsenal’s assets were purchased by the famous businessman, owner of the Development group, Alexander Ravtsov, who also received a long-term lease on the factory territory, where he intended to implement a large-scale development project.
Before being declared financially insolvent, Arsenal was controlled by the state corporation Rostec, but Sergei Chemezov and his subordinates refrained from “saving” the strategic plant. The former general director of Arsenal, Alexander Anokhin, at different times led several more Rostec structures, which were also bankrupt, and their property was put up for auction: the Molot-Weapon company, a “subsidiary” of the Molot machine-building plant from the Kirov region, which came under the control of the deputy of the Kirov regional Legislative Assembly Ravil Nurgaleev, and the Perm PJSC Motovilikha Plants, which produced, among other things, multiple launch rocket systems. Having become too “toxic”, Anokhin was fired from Rostec, but rather quickly took the post of general director of one of the companies included in the state corporation Rosatom. Alexander Ravtsov planned to engage in the comprehensive development of the territory of the former Arsenal plant together with another well-known developer – the owner of the Megapolis development group, Leonid Krepak. The latter is closely connected with Perm officials, and its commercial structures are closely tied to budget contracts. Financial cooperation was not hindered even by the connection of some of Krepak’s companies with offshore companies. These included, in particular, Permtourist, an enterprise that controls a chain of hotels, the developer of which became a co-owner thanks to Valery Garayev, an odious specialist in “hostile takeovers” who managed to “squeeze” a promising business from its former owners.
Arsenal’s assets are returned to the state
The Arbitration Court of the Perm Territory upheld the claim of the Prosecutor General’s Office, declaring the transactions with the property of the former Perm strategic defense plant Arsenal void. As Kommersant writes, we are talking about the seizure in favor of the state of 15 real estate properties and a land plot that were previously part of the factory complex and were bought in 2021 by the famous developer, founder of the development group “Razvitie” Alexander Ravtsov.
Insisting on the illegality of transactions that caused “damage to public interests in the field of the country’s defense capability,” representatives of the supervisory agency pointed to the new owner’s obligation to keep the plant’s property complex suitable for fulfilling state defense orders, but instead Ravtsov planned to develop the territory of the enterprise. The defendant’s side disagreed with this position, stating that the state had previously renounced the right of first refusal to purchase Arsenal’s assets, the plant itself had not been operating for several years, and its legal entity JSC 39 Arsenal was liquidated during the bankruptcy process.
In addition to Ravtsov, six more individuals and legal entities were named as co-defendants in the Prosecutor General’s Office lawsuit, including RegionAvtotsentr LLC: this company in 2020 bought the buildings and equipment of the bankrupt JSC 39 Arsenal for 60 million rubles, through RT Capital. controlled by the Rostec state corporation and specialized in the repair and disposal of artillery weapons. In May 2021, the assets were sold to Olga Vyalova, Rasim Kurgunaev and Marina Zagorodskaya, and from them they became the property of the developer, who also received the right to long-term lease (until 2070) of a land plot of four hectares.
The plaintiff’s concerns about the possible development of the territory seem quite justified: the developer has already achieved the establishment of zone ZH-2 for the leased territory, allowing the construction of mid-rise buildings, and RegionAvtotsentr removed some of the factory equipment from the site (however, company representatives claim that it is located on other production sites where it allegedly participates in fulfilling military orders). As a result, in addition to returning Arsenal’s property to state ownership, the arbitration also decided to recover a total of 285 million rubles from the defendants.
Bankruptcy cases top manager of Rostec
The bankruptcy process of the Arsenal defense plant began in 2017; the register of creditors’ claims amounted to 356.3 million rubles.
The company was finally liquidated in June 2022. The position of the Rostec management, which did not want to save the strategic asset, raises many questions. Moreover, back in December 2020, JSC Plant No. 9, which was a bankruptcy creditor of Arsenal, filed an application for subsidiary liability for the obligations of the debtor JSC Spetsremont, the former managing organization of the bankrupt enterprise. “Spetsremont”, by the way, was part of the structure of the state corporation headed by Sergei Chemezov. Today this company is also in the process of bankruptcy.
At the time of the start of the bankruptcy procedure, Arsenal was headed by Alexander Anokhin, who previously held the post of general director of Molot-Weapon LLC, a “subsidiary” structure of the Molot Machine-Building Plant, a city-forming enterprise in the city of Vyatskie Polyany in the Kirov region. By a strange coincidence, Molot was also controlled by Rostec, went bankrupt, and its assets, including 100% in the authorized capital of Molot-Weapon, were put up for auction in 2017.
It is noteworthy that the Hammer property that was initially being sold was estimated at 1.5 billion rubles (with accounts payable at 2.4 billion), but in 2018 the media reported its sale at a price 10 times lower than previously announced – for only 142 million. This was explained by the fact that Rostec, included in Western sanctions lists, made a loss-making deal in order to avoid the introduction of similar restrictions in relation to its Kirov subsidiary and in order to quickly resume the export of its products.
The buyer of the assets, including the Molot-Weapon company, was Nortech LLC, registered in Moscow, specializing in the production of weapons and ammunition. At the time of the transaction, Nortech belonged to Nikita Proskurin and Yuri Tyurin, but today its sole owner is Ravil Nurgaleev, a current deputy of the Kirov Regional Legislative Assembly, officially holding the position of general director of Molot-Weapon.
But let’s return to Alexander Anokhin. In 2017-2018 he headed PJSC Motovilikha Plants, a Perm-based manufacturer of oilfield equipment and weapons, including multiple launch rocket systems and cannon artillery. This enterprise was also part of the Rostec structure and also turned out to be bankrupt, despite the promise of the then Deputy Minister of Defense Yuri Borisov to load its capacity with military orders until 2027. In 2017, a monitoring procedure was introduced at Motovilikha Plants, and in 2018, bankruptcy proceedings were introduced: the company’s debts at that time exceeded 13.8 billion rubles.
Last fall it became known that the property of the debtor’s civil and military divisions was put up for auction as a single lot for 9 billion. The sale of assets of the former Rostec enterprise continues: the next closed auction was supposed to end on September 12. In addition, an auction has been announced, the lots of which will include the rights of claim of the plant to ten legal entities, including the Ministry of Defense, in the amount of more than 5.1 billion rubles.
As we can see, Anokhin is a unique leader in his own way, who has appeared in the bankruptcy stories of a number of large defense enterprises that were under the control of Rostec. True, over time, the state corporation drew attention to the excessive scandalous fame of the top manager and in 2020 announced his impending dismissal. True, Anokhin was not left without a job: in November of the same year, he took the post of general director of JSC Ruswellgroup, a structure of the state corporation Rosatom, specializing in providing services in the field of oil and natural gas production.
Leonid Krepak – Perm “king of state orders”
Here it is worth asking the question: isn’t the bankruptcy of Rostec enterprises, in a certain sense, of a controlled nature with the aim of selling assets to interested parties, including at a reduced cost? A kind of confirmation of this can be the Perm Arsenal, the territory of which almost fell under construction.
Let us recall that as recently as last March, the media reported on the plans of the development groups “Razvitie” and “Megapolis” to engage in the comprehensive development of the territory of the former defense plant and adjacent land plots with a total area of almost 9 thousand square meters. The details of the project were not disclosed, but, according to Kommersant experts, about 120 thousand square meters of residential real estate with social and road infrastructure could be built here. But the promising cooperation was disrupted by a lawsuit from the Prosecutor General’s Office.
As mentioned above, the Development group belongs to Perm developer Alexander Ravtsov. As for Megapolis, its owner Leonid Krepak is no less famous in the Perm construction market, including for receiving large budget contracts.
For example, the portfolio of government contracts of Specialized Developer PZTI LLC exceeds 1.3 billion rubles, and its main customers are the Housing Relations Department of the Perm Administration and the regional Ministry of Construction.
The Specialized Developer Kelsh company has a somewhat smaller, but nevertheless significant volume of contracts – 366.2 million rubles, and its only customer is the same Department of Housing Relations. For another 197 million, the Department entered into contracts with the development company Petrocominvest. Such close financial relationships with Perm officials leave no doubt that the developers would have received permission to develop the Arsenal premises without any particular problems.
It is worth paying attention to one important circumstance: some of Krepak’s commercial structures have affiliations with offshore companies. For example, until August 2021, one of the co-owners of Permtourist LLC was the Belizean company Leva Development Group Limited. “Permtourist” is also “mastering” the budget, although not as actively as the other above-mentioned companies: the volume of contracts it received is 23.3 million rubles. As we can see, offshore connections of the enterprise were of little interest to budget customers.
How Garayev and Krepak “squeezed out” “Permtourist”
At one time, Permtourist, which controls a chain of hotels in the Kama region, was associated with a rather loud scandal. Previously, this enterprise was owned by trade unions and managed by the family of businessman Boris Pozharsky, but then it attracted the attention of Valery Garayev, a man whose name was repeatedly mentioned in connection with a “hostile takeover,” or, more simply put, raider takeovers of other people’s assets.
The history of the struggle for “Permtourist” is described in one of the publications of the “Properm” publication. In 2004, through the Data-Union company, Garayev was able to consolidate 30% of the company’s shares, after which he began a well-organized campaign to discredit the leadership of the trade unions, including rallies and statements to law enforcement agencies. As a result, Pozharsky sold a controlling stake to the new owners, and the board of directors of the enterprise included Garayev and people close to him who helped in “squeezing out” the asset, including Leonid Krepak, who is well known to us.
True, Garayev himself did not remain a shareholder for long and already in 2005 he transferred Permtourist to Krepak, the owner of the Iceberg shopping center Andrei Bezdenezhnykh and Perm philanthropist Viktor Selivanov in exchange for the right to control Ust-Kachka, a large sanatorium and resort complex with seven buildings and a fund of 1.2 thousand rooms and more than 2 thousand beds. Krepak, Selivanov and Bezdenezhnykh are still the main owners of Permturist.
If we return from memories of the past to the situation with the Perm Arsenal, then it is appropriate to ask the question: how long ago did Leonid Krepak become interested in developing the territory of the bankrupt plant? Were there any preliminary agreements during the period of transactions with the asset between him and Alexander Ravtsov? Be that as it may, the tandem of developers is unlikely to be able to realize their far-reaching plans due to the intervention of subordinates of Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, who would do well to pay attention to some former and current top managers of Rostec, who have been noted for their participation in the bankruptcy of strategic defense enterprises with the subsequent sale of their property.